Special Beatles album raises over 3K for Barra families

A special Beatles album to be personalised by Sir Paul McCartney raised more than £3,300 at auction yesterday (Wednesday) to aid the families of two Scottish island teenagers caught up in the Manchester bomb attack.

Sir Paul was moved by the plight of schoolgirls Laura MacIntyre and Eilidh MacLeod from Barra in the Outer Hebrides who were both attending their first big pop concert.

Eilidh, 14, a keen piper, was one of 22 people killed in the attack at Manchester Arena. Laura, 15, has bravely returned to the island’s Castlebay Community School after spending many weeks in hospital being treated for serious, and initially, life-threatening injuries.

The pair had travelled to see Ariana Grande on May 22.

Eilidh was a piper with Sgoil Lionacleit Pipe Band.

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Poignantly Sir Paul’s donation comes in the run-up of the 40th anniversary of one of the most iconic piping tunes - the musician’s Mull of Kintyre reached number 1 at Christmas, 1977.

Soon after the Manchester tragedy Sir Paul donated a special Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band 6 Disc Super Deluxe (50th Anniversary Edition) boxset of what many consider the greatest ever album - which he signed and personalised for the winner of an auction to raise funds for the two families. The boxset includes a DVD and Blu-ray and a 144-page booklet.

Leading auctioneers Bonhams waived their commission fee - and donated the buyer’s premium to the families.

The lot went to a phone bidder from the Beatles’ home city of Liverpool with a hammer price of £2,700, but with the premiums the total raised for the families was £3,375.

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Managing Director of Bonhams Knightsbridge, Jon Baddeley said: “This is such a worthwhile cause, and we are delighted to be able to help.”

A spokeswoman added that there were several bids and they were “delighted” with the price achieved.

The event at Bonham’s Knightsbridge in London was part of the Entertainment Memorabilia sale and featured as the last lot on the section devoted to Beatles memorabilia.

Western Isles MP Angus MacNeil, who lives on Barra - and is a friend of both families - helped organise the auction.

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He said:”It is incredibly heart-warming that Sir Paul was so moved by how this terrible tragedy touched a small island community that he felt he wanted to help personally.

“We are very grateful for his generosity which is especially poignant given that Eilidh was such a keen piper and there are no more popular and iconic tunes than Mull of Kintyre, which symbolises Sir Paul’s connections not only with the pipes but also with Scotland.